Software suppliers themselves, along with IT services and other technology organisations were the worst software piracy offenders, accounting for 24% of settlements last year, according to the Business Software Alliance.
Other sectors with high levels of piracy included construction and engineering, and architecture and design, which together represented 27% of settlements. Educational organisations made up 8%.
"It has been another busy year for the BSA legal counsel," said Siobhan Carroll, BSA regional manager for Northern Europe. "We are particularly unhappy to see the lack of diligence within the IT sector."
The BSA has been criticised in the past for heavy-handed treatment of firms suspected of using unlicensed software. Users have complained that honest errors on licensing have been treated as deliberate software piracy.
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